We're two weeks away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making an apperance on Thursday Night Football, but fans will still want to tune into the game tonight.
The NFC South could see a massive shakeup this weekend, with the Bucs hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Kicking off the week is a game involving the New Orleans Saints, one in which they can fall to under .500 with a loss.
Jacksonville seems like the sort of team that can make that happen.
Trevor Lawrence is a game-time decision with a knee injury, but even if he doesn't play it feels like the Jaguars are well-coached enough to take of the Saints. Thursday night games have lacked composure this season, and New Orleans is a team built to implode under those circumstances.
Just look at what happened a few weeks ago in Green Bay.
The Saints are a tough team but the jury is still out on whether they're any good. Thursday's game against the Jaguars will go a long way in telling us which version of the Saints is the true one this season.
Thursday Night Football Week 7: Saints vs. Jaguars
One factor that could play into the Saints finding a way to win is Jacksonville's schedule. The team just came off back-to-back weeks in London and are riding a winning streak into tonight's game.
At some point the shoe has to drop, although that didn't happen last week when the Colts were annihilated by the Jags who showed no signs of jet lag. The law of averages -- and football common sense -- suggests good times eventually stop rolling, but will that happen to the Jaguars against a sneaky Saints team?
Jacksonville's win over the Buffalo Bills is the game that stands out as potential evidence that this winning streak isn't coming to an end. They hung close with a team many have pegged as a Super Bowl contender and found a way to win. That came a week after spanking the Falcons, so the NFC South has posed excatly zero threat so far to Doug Pederson's squad.
The flipside of that coin could be applied to the Saints.
Derek Carr isn't a bad quarterback, Alvin Kamara has returned, and guys like Chris Olave and Michael Thomas are special weapons. Despite this, and a stout defense, the Saints have lost three of their last four games -- including a beatdown from the Bucs in Week 4.
Will the tide begin to turn? More to the point, can the Saints get lucky and remain close in the NFC South race?
A win on Thursday would put the Saints a game behind Tampa Bay and Atlanta, with whatever happens on Sunday being of the utmost importance. The Bucs winning would further distance them from the rest of the division, but a loss would mean the NFC South flips.
The Falcons would own first place and a partial tiebreaker over the Bucs, while Tampa Bay drops to second place and a half-game away from third place.
New Orleans losing on Thursday would go a long way in alleviating stress for Bucs fans come Sunday.
Thursday Night Football schedule and results 2023
Here's what the rest of Amazon Prime's Thursday Night Football schedule looks like, plus results from the games that have already happened.
Eagles 34, Vikings 28
49ers 30, Giants 12
Lions 34, Packers 20
Bears 40, Commanders 20
Chiefs 19, Broncos 8
Week 7 (Oct. 19th)
Saints vs. Jaguars
Week 8 (Oct. 26th)
Bills vs. Buccaneers
Week 9 (Nov. 2nd)
Steelers vs. Titans
Week 10 (Nov. 9th)
Bears vs. Panthers
Week 11 (Nov. 16th)
Ravens vs. Bengals
Week 12 (Black Friday)
Jets vs. Dolphins
Week 13 (Nov. 30th)
Cowboys vs. Seahawks
Week 14 (Dec. 7th)
Steelers vs. Patriots
Week 15 (Dec. 14th)
Raiders vs. Chargers
Week 16 (Dec. 21st)
Rams vs. Saints
Week 17 (Dec. 28th)
Browns vs. Jets